11 weird spelling facts

The English language is just plain strange sometimes. Here are some examples of the biggest head-scratching oddities.

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Not to put too fine a point on it, English spelling rules are just weird.

We have words that sound the same but are spelled differently (such as “their,” “they’re,” and “there”); words with letters that have nothing to do with how the word is pronounced (“brought,” “although”); words that contain silent letters (“gnat,” “pneumonia”); and words that simply don’t follow any spelling rules.

Here’s a look at 11 weird, random facts about English spelling. Not sure this will make our jobs as writers and editors any easier, but it’s a nice distraction.

1. The English language has 1,100 different ways to spell its 44 distinct sounds, more than any other language. (Source: Learn English Spelling)

2. The following words violate the “i before e” rule or its exceptions: seize, weird, neither, either, foreign, sovereign, forfeit, counterfeit, leisure, heifer, protein, height, sleight, feisty, seismograph, and kaleidoscope.

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